Rogers selling all its Cogeco shares to Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec

Rogers sells Cogeco shares

Rogers Communications Inc. says it is selling all of its shares in Cogeco Inc. to Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec for $829 million in a move to reduce its debt leverage ratio.

The Toronto-based telecommunications company says it is now six months ahead of its deleveraging plans and expects to achieve a debt leverage ratio of 4.7x by year end, down from 4.9x at the end of the third quarter.

Cogeco says the Caisse will become an anchor investor in its cable and internet subsidiary Cogeco Communications Inc.

President and CEO Philippe Jetté says the transaction is "a unique opportunity ... to realize multiple benefits while ensuring we have the ability to deliver our strategic plan."

Caisse executive vice-president Kim Thomassin calls the share purchase "key for the company and its plan to develop the North American market," adding the fund "is supporting the growth projects of this leading telecommunications company as connectivity needs continue to grow."

The Caisse, a global investment group managing funds for public pension and insurance plans, had net assets totalling $424 billion as of June 30.

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